It may be hotter than a firecracker outside but that’s never stopped Atlanta families from heading out to celebrate the 4th of July at parades, road races, picnics, and incredible fireworks displays. Grab a blanket for throwing, some sunscreen for sharing, and plenty of water for keeping hydrated. Our weekend line-up of things to do will take care of the rest!

Sparklers

Buckhead

AJC Peachtree Road Race
The AJC Peachtree Road Race is one of Atlanta’s favorite 4th of July traditions. With a festive atmosphere, scenic city course and one hundred and fifty thousand spectators, you won’t want to miss the spectacle of the world’s largest 10K. Pick your spot and pick it early! Race starts in Buckhead near Lenox Square Mall and ends in Piedmont Park. Free to watch. Sat. from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. All ages. Event details.

Celebrate the 4th of July at Lenox Square
Don’t miss Buckhead’s Legendary Fourth of July at Lenox Square, complete with patriotic activities including the largest fireworks display in the Southeast, musical entertainment, and food concessions. Held at Lenox Square, 3393 Peachtree Rd NE. Free. Sat. afternoon until fireworks end (around 10 p.m.). All ages. Event details.

Downtown

Red, White, & View: Fireworks at the Aquarium
The best seat downtown is on Level 7 of the Georgia Aquarium’s parking deck. Buy a ticket to see the show, and you’ll also have access to summertime desserts and drinks, carnival games, arts and crafts, a live DJ, and games. Be sure to bring a blanket or chairs, but leave your pets, fireworks, and booze at home. Held at Level 7 of Georgia Aquarium’s Parking Deck, 225 Baker Street NW. $20/ adult, $15/ child. Sat. from 7:30 to 10 p.m. All ages. Event details.

See Centennial Olympic Park’s Firework Spectacular
Celebrate the 4th of July with a night of fun and entertainment for the entire family, including downtown’s Fireworks Spectacular, synchronized to a special selection of patriotic and popular music. MARTA is strongly encouraged for transportation. Held at Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Avenue West, NW. Free. Sat. park gates open at 6 p.m. and fireworks start at approximately 9:40 p.m. All ages. Event details.

Head to the Home of the Braves to Celebrate America
Spend 4th of July with the Braves! Stay after the Phillies – Braves game and enjoy one of the best fireworks displays in the southeast. The All-American Fireworks Spectular will feature displays choregraphed to patriotic music. Held at Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Dr. SE. Tickets start at $14. Sat. after the 7:10 p.m. game. All ages. Event details.

Stone Mountain

Don’t Miss the Fantastic Fourth Celebration
The Fantastic Fourth Celebration was voted the “Best Place to See Fireworks in Atlanta” by AJC readers, a “Must-See Fireworks Show” by USA Today and one of Reader’s Digest’s picks for “America’s Most Spectacular Fourth of July Fireworks.” Enjoy the Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainvision followed by a special patriotic fireworks finale all four nights. Held at Stone Mountain Park, Highway 78 East. Free with your $10.00 vehicle fee to enter the park. Thurs. through Sun. Attraction Hours: 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Lasershow and Fireworks: 9:30 p.m. All ages. Event details.

Marietta

Fourth in the Park Celebration
Spend the 4th of July at the Marietta Square, starting with the Marietta Freedom Parade (it has over 2,000 participants!), a family festival, live concerts, museum tours, an arts and crafts show and carnival games. There will also be food and a fireworks display after dark. Get there early to ensure a great spot to watch the parade. Parade begins at Roswell Street Baptist Church and ends at North Marietta Parkway. Free. Sat. from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive: Hampton

Light Up the Night at the Henry County’s Fireworks Extravaganza 
Party with the entire family at Nash Farm. The Henry County Fireworks Extravaganza offers a play area for kids, inflatables, hayrides, zipline, a bingo tournament and a raffle with cash prizes. Don’t forget about the car, motorcycle, tractor and truck show. Bonus: Children 5 and under are free. Held at Nash Farms, 100 Babbs Mill Rd. $20 per vehicle for up to 6 passengers, children 5 & under are free. Sat. festivities begin at 2 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. All ages. Event details.

How will you light up the weekend? Tell us in the comments section below!

–Shelley Massey

Photo: Rowena of the Rants via Flickr Creative Commons